I wonder how many of you are familiar with the Biblical story of Jacob and Laban? As a child, hearing this story, I always had some serious questions for Jacob about his behaviour. I really thought he was stupid. The story, in a nutshell, was that Jacob wanted to marry his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel. The agreement was that he would work for Laban for seven years before he could get her hand in marriage. After seven years, on the wedding night, Laban switched Rachel with Leah (the ugly older sister) without Jacob noticing until the morning after consummation. His love for Rachel was so great that he worked another seven years to get Rachel. From the strife between the two wives for the love of Jacob and his unequally divided love we get the resulting squabble with Josef being favoured as a son of Rachel which leads to the Egypt issues and the whole nation being taken into slavery – so with hindsight not a good move by either Jacob or Laban.
So where am I going with this? I never thought this would happen, but I feel like Jacob. Unlike Jacob who wanted a wife, I want freedom. I want financial security, and independence. For the first seven years of my working life I worked quite happily for a meager salary thinking that in the future things will get better, and everything will work out. I was rudely awakened after seven years to realise that I received absolutely diddly squat for all my time. No ultimate freedom, no future prospects, nothing. The scales fell from my eyes, and I had the same feeling Jacob would probably have had the morning after Leah. I decided that I will not be duped again, and that the next seven years will end in freedom. I realised now that I do not love a ‘nice’ workplace, and friendly colleagues (Leah), I much rather prefer freedom and choice (Rachel). Now I am stuck for another seven years. I have to save every penny, and live as frugally as I possibly can, but at the end I will have enough interest to cover the basics.
The seven years are tough. Especially when Laban is right there, holding your freedom – he can just give it to you if he wanted to, but no, you have to suffer for it. Now I just need to hope that the world economy does not screw me over in the meantime, and that I am not just chasing rainbows. Hold on Rachel, I’m coming!